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Chinese Culture Essay, Research Paper

The Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon boat racing is more than an exciting water sport. It is also a very

dynamic part of the Chinese folklore and culture. Chinese people traditionally regard the

dragon as a great creature that has been presiding over the water. It also represents the

symbol of power. The emperor of the Chinese kingdom would wear a rope that has a

dragon on it, to make himself powerful. Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan is celebrated by

Dragon boat racing, eating rice dumplings, and wearing small little scented pack. Why

we re doing this? After knowing a little history behind it. I found that the legend was not

only interesting but also meaningful.

About 2300 years ago, during the warring states period, there was a well

respected poet and statesman called Qu Yuan , he served the Chu dynasty with love

and integrity. The people loved him so much. But he committed suicide by drowning

himself in the Mei Lo river to protest the corrupted regime of the Chu emperor.

A fisher who saw him raced out to save him, but failed. So him ran back to the village

to called for help to save Qu Yuan. They jumped into their own boats and raced to the

place but couldn t find Qu Yuan. At this time, their boat were long and narrowand the

people who were rich had dragon in front of it. Racing out to save Qu Yuan was

reenacted in the form of dragon boat races and is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth

month in the lunar calendar. Each anniversary dragon-headed boats race out on the waters

to commemorate Qu Yuan and to scare away demons.

The rice dumplings are called Ma Chang or Tzung tza .The invention of

the Tzung Tsa also started during that time. Because people who loved Qu Yuan so

much, was afraid that the hungry fishes and lobsters in the sea will eat his body. So they

started wrapped rice in the bamboo leaves threw it in the river to prevent them from

eating Qu Yuan s body. That s why we eat Tzung tza today in order to remember Qu


The legen of wearing little scented pack is used to prevent evil spirits. Does it

really work? I don’ know. But what I do really know is that the scent inside the little

pack has a particular chemical ingredient that could prevent the body from being bitten

by some insects during that season of the year.

Dragon is the most venerated of the Chinese people so it symbols power and

authority. People in the acient time also believed that it brings luck. The performance of

these dragon boat races show a community dedication to it s god. In return, the members

of the community will be protected from unfriendly spirits of the sea and blessed with

happiness and prosperity.

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